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Full text of "Alexander von Humboldt"

LIFE  OF
form,, tliat is, the coherence of forms, subdivided into
races and families—than to the observer whose seiise
for nature has not been refined by an insight into its
laws.
But, to attain to this, men must make themselves
familiar with the universal views of creation; and
this is, indeed, becoming an undeniable want for the
people, which strives after educational means for the
extension of intelligence and learning. Humboldt
endeavours to inculcate such general views which help
to explain the single and special laws of nature, in
thiSj Ms legacy to the German people; and, thereby
expands the mental life of the nation, by bringing it
from its ignorance into connexion with the entire
world, by letting it surmise the coherence in the
natural phenomena from these general views, and
urges on to varied study.
Partly with the view of calling attention to these
works of the great philosopher,, and of assisting in
advancing his purpose in those classes of the people
where "K.osinosJJ still requires a popular interpretation,
partly, also, to present, at the close of this biographic
sketch, an intellectual portrait of Humboldt, drawn
by his own hand, in the general character of the
truths acquired by him, by a contemplative observa-
tion of natural phenomena; we will now endeavour
to give a very brief summary of " Kosmos/' which may
"be generally comprehensible. We address ourselves
especially to those of whom Humboldt says: "Whom-
soever his position permits, sometimes to rise above the
narrow "boundaries of civic life,, blushing that he has
been so long a stranger to nature, and has passed by
her without emotion, will find one of the noblest en-
joyments which a developed reason can afford to man
in the contemplation of the great and unbounded
life of nature. The study of natural sciences will
awaken faculties in him which have long slumbered;
he enters into a closer connexion with the material
world, without becoming insensible to the industrial
progress and intellectual development of humanity."